History of People's Artist of the USSR Galina Vishnevskaya

Biography of Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya: how she, as a young girl, survived the Leningrad blockade, managed to become a successful opera singer and why she left the USSR. We answer these and other questions in our article.

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya - success story, complicated fate, family life and forced emigration

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya - Soviet and Russian opera performer, Actressartistic manager Center for Opera Singing. In 1955 she was recognized as a Distinguished Artist of RSFSRIn 1966, she was the People's Artist of the USSR.


Galina Pavlovna Ivanova was born in October 1926 in Leningrad. After she was born, her parents divorcedand the future actress was brought up by Grandma. Most of his childhood Galina spent in Kronstadt. Already at school on the The Charm and talent The girls paid attention: they even gave her a nickname The Artist's Pebble. War The years 1941-1945 caught Galina when she was 14 years. Then she came to visit her Father (he lived in Estonia).

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya as a child
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya as a child

After her return to Kronstadt, the Siege of Leningradand Galina was among the three million peoplewhose lives depended directly on fascists. The girl was not easyThe most important thing for her was hunger, cold, and, in 1942, the person closest to her died. Grandma. The singer shared Memories about that terrible time:

"I'm not alone. suffered, it was difficult for all people. I'm very unpleasant about it. People were looking for food in dumpsterto make sure that somehow get by. It was Coldespecially in winter. The sun almost Didn't look out.. At the time, I felt like I was in the middle of hell".

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya in her youth
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya in her youth

Galina was saved. accidentally: women, going The first responders were help, found her. When the girl was only 15 years, she got into the squad of the local anti-aircraft Defense. There were difficult timeshard work, lack of sleep, hunger, but the girl found her пристанище - deal with everything difficulties singing helped her. Music treated Galina's soul, and then she made the decision that she would become a professional artist. In 1943, the girl began implement her plans: in the afternoon she went to music schooland after that she worked in the palace of culture.

First husband Galina became a sailor George Vishnevsky. The couple were married in 1944. Soon the couple broke upBut Galina left a beautiful last name even after the divorce. At one of the concerts Leningrad Regional Operetta Theaterwhere she worked performerGalina has shown herself to be a real professional: the singer who plays the lead role, sickand no one could to replace, except for Galina, who remembered most of the roles by heart. She spoke in place of her colleagues and thereby established itself in front of by the superiors.


Later, the artist left to conquer Western listeners, namely Americans. The singer herself later said that for Americans, seeing a Communist was like UFO. They were very surprised and a very different way of thinking about her represented. The tour was successful, and after him Galina was often offered to speak abroad, but such decisions she independently could not accept. It was all up to the artists at the time Ministry of CultureThe Russian government, which did not support the aspirations of domestic artists to give concerts in the Westtherefore Vishnevskaya traveled abroad less oftenthan she would have liked.

Second Marriage Vishnevskaya signed a contract with the director of the Leningrad Operetta Theater Mark Rubinwho was younger than her by for several years. The spouses were living happilyThey even had a son, but in 1945 he died of food poisoning. The child's death was strong ударом on the family, Rubin and Vishnevskaya divorced.

The singer never gave up hope of creating happy family, and in 1955 again concluded marriage. The young people were acquainted with less than a weekBut their feelings were so strongas if they had known each other all a life. Galina's new boyfriend is a famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. It was with him that Galina became happy. wife: the artists were born two daughters - Olga and Elena. The couple were crazy about each other and lived together 52 years old. IN 2007 Mstislav Rostropovich died after a long and prolonged illness. Galina Pavlovna was very frustratedbecause he was the only one who understood her like no one else, and he was always Near. Vishnevskaya talked about her husband:

"One day we were walking around Prague. We wandered and wandered and suddenly stumbled upon high wall. Mstislav offered me through her climb overto which I was surprised, of course. I'm a singer of this scale and I have to climb through some fence? He's got me, though. convincedand I climbed over. On the other side was a huge Puddleand I was so afraid of getting dirty. Mstislav was wearing a light expensive cloak. He took it off, put it on the ground so I could calmly go to. Then I realized that this man would definitely make me happy".

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich

The Most Famous Composers of that era were crazy about Galina Vishnevskaya's voice and charm. Prokofiev and Shostakovich composed music in her honor, the best conductors were lined upto work with her, she collaborated with major opera stars. Her work was enjoyed not only by the Soviet citizensbut also foreign to listeners.

In 1974 Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya gone from the USSR to "sabbatical"But after a few years, they were no longer by citizens USSR. They had to leave country Because of problems with the Soviet authorities (spouses repeatedly defended disgraced writers Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn). Only in 16 years they were able to return to their homeland.

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya with her daughters
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya with her daughters

Galina, being in "link", wrote an autobiographical book entitled "Galina: A Life Story." in English. In Russia it was first published only in 90s. Vishnevskaya told me how she had received idea to write this work:

"In the '70s, my husband and I left the the USSR. I had to somehow Distractionsand I thought about writing my own Books. I had a lot to tell my to fansSo I didn't hesitate and started work. I worked on the book. four years. It was first published in Washington, D.C.and at the presentation a senator came up to me Edward Kennedy and said that he learned more about Russia from my book than from history books. This was due to the fact that the book is about stories not only of my life, but also of my countries".

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya's book "Galina: Life Story"
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya's book "Galina: Life Story"

In the 2000s, Galina opened her Opera Singing Centerwhere inexperienced singers get postgraduate education and the experience necessary for the job. For this, in 2011, the artist received Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation. A year later, Galina Vishnevskaya no more. Shortly before her death, she was treated at the Germany - the artist had problems with her blood vessels. But to this day, people are still amazed by her beautiful voice, enjoy watching the recordings plays with her participation.

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